Sunday, January 23, 2022

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From the Editorial Board

Late December brings a mixture of emotions to Cheyenne River. Celebrations of Christmas and the Winter Solstice meet the ever-present undercurrent of sorrow and remembrance of Wounded Knee. The resulting words and images are never clear or straightforward. The light of history and experience bends through them causing a slight refraction every time.

This week marks the 131st anniversary of the Massacre at Wounded Knee Creek/Čhaŋkpé Ópi Wakpála. Pictures from the Oomaka Tokatakiya/Future Generations Ride show smiling faces as they traverse a frozen landscape in fellowship; a far cry from the isolation and despair of 1890.

Other places in the paper we share pictures of Christmas lights from around town joyfully lighting up the darkness as the earth turns toward the sun at the Winter Solstice.

As always, the themes of past and present come together on Cheyenne River/Wakpá Waste. That’s what makes it such a powerful place.

As we move into 2022 we necessarily bring the experience of the pandemic of 2020-2021 with us. The pandemic brought unexpected lessons of community, communication, inter-dependence and endurance. These will all stand us in good stead in the 21st century.

It’s imperative we keep the channels of communication open in the days to come. The struggles and triumphs of 2021, the year which began with an unprecedented treasonous attack on the United States, are still with us. Much like the riders, our only way forward is together. We must rely on our neighbors whether we like it or not. We need each other if we are going to survive.

The West River Eagle wishes you all the best in 2022! We will be here to celebrate births and deaths with you, to remark on history as it unfolds before us, and to pave the way for the next generations.

Be safe. Be kind. Be grateful.

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